FEB 16, 2016 12:00 PM
30 Websites Your Startup Needs in 2016
by Drew Hendricks
All entrepreneurs dream of owning and operating their own startup and with the following list of different tools and services it can be more of a reality and take some of the burden off of becoming a new business owner.
1. Tradeaway: It’s just what it sounds like—a site for bartering, trading, and exchanging. When money is tight (or you’re just budget conscious) every dollar counts. You can get a lot when bartering, from accounting services to graphic design.
2. BlogPros: Blogpros creates content that is designed to be informative and helpful to your visitors, and is optimized to attract new search engine traffic. Regularly creating great content is the best way to gain new search engine traffic and attract new customers that wouldn't have found you otherwise. Once you’re starting to get traffic to your blog, they can help you convert those extra visitors into paying customers.
3. Uber: You know about Uber, and probably use it, but it’s also great for business. Set up your Uber for when you travel, to take care of clients, and easily track your Uber spending on the site for accounting purposes.
4. YouTube: Surprisingly, YouTube is actually one of the top social media platforms around—yet many people don’t see it that way. Upload short clips about your startup, make sure the descriptions are SEO friendly, and integrate video content into your marketing.
5. Zoho: This is the ultimate in project management software that’s intuitive and offers great support. If you’ve used Basecamp, you’ll love Zoho.
6. Verbatim Solutions: It’s a global world, which means sooner rather than later you’re going to need translation services. They need to be high quality and from certified translators that specialize in your industry. Here’s where you’ll find them.
7. Depomax Merit Litigation: It’s important to have legal help on your side that’s local, but you should also have access to virtual solutions such as transcription services with a fast turnaround.
8. Flickr: It’s the choice of professional photographers for a reason. You can get a free account or pro account ($50 per year) and use it to store, share, and edit all of your photos (think professional portraits, photos of your business, etc.). No other photo site comes close.
9. Mpix: However, when it comes time to actually print photos, calendars, booklets, and more, the pros rely on Mpix. If you’ve been burned by online printing resources before, rest easy. These results are gorgeous.
10. Fragrant Heart: To complement your yoga, indulge in some mindful (and free!) meditation to keep your cool and your mind sharp. Even five minutes per day can dramatically bolster your productivity.
11. Appypie: This is one of the best, free mobile app makers on the market. If you’re not sure mobile readiness is for you and you don’t want to pay through the nose to find out, Appypie is the answer. You can create a beautiful app and test it out, play with it, and perfect it.
12. Codecademy: Learn coding in a variety of computer languages completely free! Codecademy has built a reputation on being fun, easy, and possible to squeeze into even the busiest of schedules.
13. Giant Invitations: Here’s the deal with hard copy invitations—they’re either poor quality or insanely overpriced. Giant Invitations is based out of Australia, yet offers free or affordable shipping that comes fast. The invitations are breathtaking, and they go the extra mile to make you happy (plus, they require a sample first so you know what you’re getting!).
14. DudaMobile: Having a great website isn’t enough. You also need one that’s responsively designed with a mobile website. DudaMobile helps you turn your site mobile, or you can build a mobile one from scratch. Since most people in North America now use a mobile device to access sites, this is a must.
15. Care.com: You might think this is only for childcare (which founders may need!), but you can also find housekeeping/office cleaning and pet sitting pros here. It’s much more legitimate than Craigslist, and you’re in charge of managing your needs in one fell swoop.
16. Piktochart: Infographics are the most desirable kind of content, but what if you don’t have a graphic designer? Piktochart lets you create lovely infographics easily, and there are many free options to get started.
17. iPiccy: Forget Photoshop to perfect your photos. It’s tough and slows down your computer. iPiccy is a great solution that’s user-friendly and can ensure your professional photos are flawless.
18. iStock Photo: There will come a time when you need high quality, non-cheesy stock photos, and iStock is where they are. You can filter by type, keyword, and once you’ve downloaded them they’re yours to keep.
19. OnlineAccounting.com: You need a CPA who specializes in small business year-round, not just in April. However, you don’t have time to meet with them. This site connects you with real CPAs who work with you virtually to keep your taxes and finances healthy.
20. Freelancer.com: Whether you need a graphic designer, editor, web developer, or anything else, you can find top pros on this site. It’s always smart to go freelance before hiring permanent employees in the shaky stages of early startups.
21. SBA.gov: The official Small Business Administration has endless tips, advice, and freebies available both online and via your local chapter. Get help on anything from approaching venture capitalists to drafting a business plan.
22. Hire More Women in Tech: This site give you the insight and tools you need to hire more women in technology. It informs and advocates, giving you the opportunity to progress on this shared goal.
23. Internships.com: Looking to hire an intern but don’t know where to start? Going through local college career departments can be time consuming, but this site lets you instantly connect with thousands of interns looking for both paid an unpaid positions.
24. Toastmasters: This non-profit has been helping everyone improve their public speaking chops since 1942. You can connect with a local chapter or check out their impressive online resources. Everyone can improve, and it’s crucial for founders!
25. Harvard Business Review: The HBR is a prime guide to help you keep up with what’s happening in business, the latest studies that are relevant to entrepreneurs, and gives you inspiration for your own startup. Get the app or sign up for their newsletter to stay informed.
26. MailChimp: Simply put, MailChimp helps you send better emails. Avoid the spam folder, craft beautiful emails that present to readers as you intend, and make the most of your newsletter and email outreach.
27. Insperity: The second you bring an employee or contractor on board, human resources needs to be a priority. If you’re not big enough yet to warrant your own department, you can outsource HR to Insperity. In fact they can take care of everything from hiring to firing and even payroll.
28. Cyborlink: This little-known website is a true gem, filling you in on business customs from cultures around the world. It’s always worth a peek before you meet (virtually or in person) with a contact from a different culture.
29. Work-Life Balance: Yes, there really is an entire site dedicated to this. Use it. Remember that it’s not an end goal, but something you must practice daily. You’ll rarely achieve it, but working towards it is what matters.
30. Hostt: Finding a good host can definitely be a difficult process. Fortunately Hostt offers free hosting with the purchase of a domain.